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Industrial Fish Farming Off Sarasota

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Industrial Fish Farming Off Sarasota

Old 12-29-2019, 09:07 PM
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Default Industrial Fish Farming Off Sarasota

https://www.heraldtribune.com/opinio...ustrial-threat

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12-30-2019, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by thataway View Post
We spent 4 years cruising British Columbia and Alaska where we saw the destructive nature of Fish Farming. Often the nets would break, and the force fed fish, which often carry viral disease would mingle with the wild fish--and negative consequences. The solution from left over food, the excretions and dead fish are carried off by strong currents in the high tidal waters of the PNW. I can see it being a worse problem in the warm waters with little tidal flow of the area off of Sarasota.

Is there any way we can prevent this? I believe it is not in the best interests of Florida's recreational fish business or us as sport anglers.

lots of mis-information in this post...I happen to work in the commercial aquaculture industry and have worked both stateside as well as internationally for the last decade. Salmon Farming in B.C is not an "apples to apples" comparison to the proposed project in the gulf. Yes, there are always bad actors in every industry, but they are the exception and not the rule...but your post reads like someone with an axe to grind so my response may fall on deaf ears, but here it goes....

I personally am not a huge fan of farming of Atlantic Salmon in B.C... However, several of the "issues" you are talking about are anti-aquaculture lobbyist talking points (Left wing NGO's and commercial fishing Lobbyists) not based on actual science. ocean cage culture of salmon and other marine species are state-of-the-art operations that are carefully monitored on all fronts. Feed is the most expensive part of the operation (typically 50-60% of OPEX), so your assumption that they are just willy-nilly "force" feeding fish is completely baseless considering how expensive feed is per ton. Farms utilize underwater cameras and automated feeding systems that feed only what is necessary... the "dead fish" and excretions, i.e effluent from fish waste does leave the cages, yes (mortalities or "dead fish" do not and are collected regularly)... however, when sites are issued permits, this is after extensive environmental impact studies designed to ensure minimal effects on the environment. however, this type of salmon aquaculture you are referencing as your comparison is nothing like the OOA (Open Ocean Aquaculture) operation proposed in the Gulf.

Take a look at these sites if you care to educate yourself on what the industry in the US is trying to move towards:

https://www.openblue.com/

Blue Ocean Mariculture - Sole Producers of Hawaiian Kanpachi : Ocean Raised Fish, Naturally

These operations are a much better representation of what you could expect from the gulf operations. I have first hand experience at these farms and can tell you that NONE of the problems you describe above are an issue in a properly located, properly operated site. in fact, I can provide a recently published paper if you doubt what I am saying by a colleague of mine that showed ZERO benthic (bottom) effects from the effluent from the farm.

With the rate of overfishing, I would hope that anglers other than myself would take a moment to realize that these farms do not propose a threat to recreational business or sport anglers. The US currently imports around 90% of the seafood we consume. This is unacceptable, especially when we take so much pride in so many other "made in the USA" products and then import crap that we have no idea how it is being farmed/caught.

Also, before you say that i'm only on the bandwagon because im in the industry...I am actually operating a Recirculating Aquaculture System, which is a direct "competitor" of this type of cage Aquaculture I am defending. Again, not sure if there is any interest, but the link below provides a good summary of what I currently do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxp7...ature=youtu.be


Old 12-29-2019, 09:13 PM
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Fish farms.. Nothing new under the sun, and much worse things can happen.. Learn to live with it.....
Old 12-29-2019, 09:16 PM
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We spent 4 years cruising British Columbia and Alaska where we saw the destructive nature of Fish Farming. Often the nets would break, and the force fed fish, which often carry viral disease would mingle with the wild fish--and negative consequences. The solution from left over food, the excretions and dead fish are carried off by strong currents in the high tidal waters of the PNW. I can see it being a worse problem in the warm waters with little tidal flow of the area off of Sarasota.

Is there any way we can prevent this? I believe it is not in the best interests of Florida's recreational fish business or us as sport anglers.
Old 12-30-2019, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by thataway View Post
We spent 4 years cruising British Columbia and Alaska where we saw the destructive nature of Fish Farming. Often the nets would break, and the force fed fish, which often carry viral disease would mingle with the wild fish--and negative consequences. The solution from left over food, the excretions and dead fish are carried off by strong currents in the high tidal waters of the PNW. I can see it being a worse problem in the warm waters with little tidal flow of the area off of Sarasota.

Is there any way we can prevent this? I believe it is not in the best interests of Florida's recreational fish business or us as sport anglers.

lots of mis-information in this post...I happen to work in the commercial aquaculture industry and have worked both stateside as well as internationally for the last decade. Salmon Farming in B.C is not an "apples to apples" comparison to the proposed project in the gulf. Yes, there are always bad actors in every industry, but they are the exception and not the rule...but your post reads like someone with an axe to grind so my response may fall on deaf ears, but here it goes....

I personally am not a huge fan of farming of Atlantic Salmon in B.C... However, several of the "issues" you are talking about are anti-aquaculture lobbyist talking points (Left wing NGO's and commercial fishing Lobbyists) not based on actual science. ocean cage culture of salmon and other marine species are state-of-the-art operations that are carefully monitored on all fronts. Feed is the most expensive part of the operation (typically 50-60% of OPEX), so your assumption that they are just willy-nilly "force" feeding fish is completely baseless considering how expensive feed is per ton. Farms utilize underwater cameras and automated feeding systems that feed only what is necessary... the "dead fish" and excretions, i.e effluent from fish waste does leave the cages, yes (mortalities or "dead fish" do not and are collected regularly)... however, when sites are issued permits, this is after extensive environmental impact studies designed to ensure minimal effects on the environment. however, this type of salmon aquaculture you are referencing as your comparison is nothing like the OOA (Open Ocean Aquaculture) operation proposed in the Gulf.

Take a look at these sites if you care to educate yourself on what the industry in the US is trying to move towards:

https://www.openblue.com/

Blue Ocean Mariculture - Sole Producers of Hawaiian Kanpachi : Ocean Raised Fish, Naturally

These operations are a much better representation of what you could expect from the gulf operations. I have first hand experience at these farms and can tell you that NONE of the problems you describe above are an issue in a properly located, properly operated site. in fact, I can provide a recently published paper if you doubt what I am saying by a colleague of mine that showed ZERO benthic (bottom) effects from the effluent from the farm.

With the rate of overfishing, I would hope that anglers other than myself would take a moment to realize that these farms do not propose a threat to recreational business or sport anglers. The US currently imports around 90% of the seafood we consume. This is unacceptable, especially when we take so much pride in so many other "made in the USA" products and then import crap that we have no idea how it is being farmed/caught.

Also, before you say that i'm only on the bandwagon because im in the industry...I am actually operating a Recirculating Aquaculture System, which is a direct "competitor" of this type of cage Aquaculture I am defending. Again, not sure if there is any interest, but the link below provides a good summary of what I currently do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxp7...ature=youtu.be


Old 12-30-2019, 06:06 PM
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Take everything the author of that article says with a grain of salt...better yet a whole salt shaker...
Old 12-30-2019, 06:11 PM
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First Sarasota is stacked with libs. Second, it does not say what type of fish will be farmed.
Old 12-30-2019, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by redseacraft View Post
First Sarasota is stacked with libs. Second, it does not say what type of fish will be farmed.
Almaco Jack
Old 12-30-2019, 08:06 PM
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A few comments regarding her misleading (or completely wrong) statements. Full disclosure, I am also in the aquaculture industry (recirculating, which she pretends to support).
  • “Fish feed, antibiotics and other chemicals can be pumped into the pens, and then leak into surrounding waters”
- As clammertime said, feed is very expensive and is very carefully applied to reduce waste as much as possible. Antibiotics are even more expensive and even in a recirculating system it is very difficult to get approval to use them when there is a problem since there are very few approved antibiotics.
  • These industrial farms also interfere with wild fish populations, as farmed fish frequently escape and can spread disease and parasites to wild fish and out-compete them for food, habitat and mates.”
- This farm (and I believe all new permits) will grow native fish and must adhere to the same standards of breeding and treatment that would be required of restocking programs. Also, any disease or parasite that the fish in the cage have would be naturally occurring as it would have come from the surrounding waters. If there were any escapements (prevented as much as possible since that’s lost money) it would be no different than releasing those fish for restocking. As the industry grows, it’s likely that triploid fish will be developed (because they grow faster) which will further alleviate the interbreeding concerns since those fish are sterile
  • ”Despite these clear and dangerous consequences, the proposed farm aims to produce about 75,000 pounds of Almaco jack fish — more than the entire annual landings of Almaco jack in the state of Florida for the most recent year on record (2017)” “In addition, land-based farms can raise a wide variety of fish, and therefore need not compete with fishing communities catching popular local fish.”
- Almaco jacks are not a commercially important fish. 75,000lbs sounds like a lot of fish, but in the seafood industry, even 1,000,000 pounds isn’t that much when you’re considering an entire species. Almaco jacks are one of the “wide variety of species” that by her logic should be farmed since there isn’t a major impact on commercial fisheries.

While these are the glaring issues that I see with this from a quick read through. I do think that using a floating cage instead of submersible is a bad move in Florida, but that’s more a business decision than anything that impacts any of us.

Final thought is just something to consider for this website that is largely populated by recreational fishermen. As we complain more and more about shortened fishing seasons and reduced bag limits, we should be encouraging people to look to aquacuktured seafood. Many of the wild fisheries are overfished and/or undergoing overfishing and with the growing population we have to find new ways to eat. I while I don’t expect fishermen to go to the fish market and buy farmed fish instead of catching their own, it’s something to consider when weighing the pros and cons of increasing domestic fish production.

Old 12-30-2019, 08:06 PM
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I’m a bit more liberal and left-to-middle leaning than most on THT, but I think this article is a bunch of BS. I am an SE Fl guy and by no means know if Gulfstream comes within 45 miles out of Sarasota there, but I cannot imagine it being as devastating as the article claims. Maybe I am wrong, but seems far reaching to me to say this will decimate the eco system.

Also the claim that it impacts the commercial fishing industry to me is not a bad thing at all. Those guys are major culprits in depleted fish stocks, much more than the recreational guys on this forum. You won’t find much sumpathy for the commercial guys here, nor do I believe they deserve any whatsoever. They will kill anything for a buck, whereas us rec guys prop up the marine industry in this state and beyond.
Old 12-30-2019, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by redseacraft View Post
First Sarasota is stacked with libs. Second, it does not say what type of fish will be farmed.
not sure what “libs” has to do with anything...but the article mentions the fish several times....it appears youve not actually read the article...
Old 12-30-2019, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by redseacraft View Post
First Sarasota is stacked with libs. Second, it does not say what type of fish will be farmed.
Our entire state was devastated by blue green and algae....early indications are they will be back.
And now they’re allowing even more complications into the environmental soup....
And doesn’t a gulf have far less volume of water flow than a sea...which would concentrate the impacts?
what could go wrong?
Old 12-30-2019, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Watergator View Post
- This farm (and I believe all new permits) will grow native fish and must adhere to the same standards of breeding and treatment that would be required of restocking programs. Also, any disease or parasite that the fish in the cage have would be naturally occurring as it would have come from the surrounding waters. If there were any escapements (prevented as much as possible since that’s lost money) it would be no different than releasing those fish for restocking. As the industry grows, it’s likely that triploid fish will be developed (because they grow faster) which will further alleviate the interbreeding concerns since those fish are sterile..
If it is this is true then Florida should require they breed local fish and have to release 2x the fish they are going to farm. Release them as fingerlings or whatever gives them a viable chance to live. Win win for everyone. Florida should not just give away permits for this without gaining anything in return.
Old 12-30-2019, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Weidnerlaw View Post
Our entire state was devastated by blue green and algae....early indications are they will be back.
And now they’re allowing even more complications into the environmental soup....
And doesn’t a gulf have far less volume of water flow than a sea...which would concentrate the impacts?
what could go wrong?
didn't that come from the corps of engineers dumping billions of gallons of fertilizer rich farm run off from central Florida? Serious question.
Old 12-30-2019, 09:55 PM
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Cooke Aquaculture, and Cooke/True North, are the ones to look at for a reality check. NC has opened its arms to Cooke operations inside our sounds.

https://www.google.com/search?client...4dUDCAo&uact=5


https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...+morton+salmon
Old 12-30-2019, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by cjlukens View Post
If it is this is true then Florida should require they breed local fish and have to release 2x the fish they are going to farm. Release them as fingerlings or whatever gives them a viable chance to live. Win win for everyone. Florida should not just give away permits for this without gaining anything in return.
they do require local fish and even have a radius restriction around the farm that the fish have to come from within (I think it’s 45 miles but would need to check on that).

I dont understand your restocking requirements though. That seems like an arbitrary requirement that is not consistent with the regulations of any other industry.
Old 12-30-2019, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Watergator View Post
they do require local fish and even have a radius restriction around the farm that the fish have to come from within (I think it’s 45 miles but would need to check on that).

I dont understand your restocking requirements though. That seems like an arbitrary requirement that is not consistent with the regulations of any other industry.
if permits are going to allow a private industry to use a public resource like our waters, then we should get something in return. Since they are already breeding from local stock why not require a certain amount to be released as young fish to help restock the population.
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Old 12-30-2019, 10:28 PM
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Default Do some background reading on Cooke Seafood

Menhaden Call to Action

From what I understand a lot of the Salmon feed comes from what the ASMFC has labeled overfishing in the Chesapeake Bay.



Old 12-30-2019, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Island Girl Sport Fishing View Post
Menhaden Call to Action

From what I understand a lot of the Salmon feed comes from what the ASMFC has labeled overfishing in the Chesapeake Bay.
Omega is a real problem for our waters and they are flagrantly exceeding their quota. Now the Fed's are involved...
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Old 12-30-2019, 10:32 PM
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I'm from Australia, and a fair bit of this has been going on for a long time. Results are mixed, there have been cases of the seabed beneath the pens becoming a toxic wasteland when not enough water flow was there, and the waste products accumulated. This has backfired on the operations involved spectacularly , at times. They have SBT ( Southern Bluefin Tuna) grow-out operation in Port Lincoln in South Australia, where the SBT are purse seined a long way away, then slowly towed back to the grow out pens. This went on well for some years, until they got a particularly bad northerly gale, which really whips that bay up, and all the tuna died, victims of the accumulated wastes on the bottom. You really need to have the right place to run these operations. Enough water movement to keep the area flushed, but not so much it is constantly destroying the pens. When the pens burst open, the local fisheries authorities need to remind people that normal bag limits still apply
Old 12-30-2019, 10:36 PM
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First, I am anything but a "liberal"; you have some valid points some of which I agree with. It needs to be clear that fin fish farming is banned in Alaska. The most recent pen rupture in British Columbia was last week (Dec 21 2019--about 21,000 fish escaped.). So that problem still exists. That happened to be due to a fire at the farm, but there are many more causes (and probably more than we realize are released). We are putting floating farms in an area where hurricanes are prevalent.

Food source for fish farming is about 50% fish based and that is achieved mostly by netting other species of fish. We found a lot of surplus fish food when we visited the BC fish farms. (Food requirement changes as the fish matures.) We asked what would happen to it--why not store it for next year. Could not be stored, and had to be destroyed, They gave us a relatively small amount to use in our crab and shrimp traps.

Studies this fall in the BC waters show that three new viruses, one, an arenavirus, was found in farmed, hatchery, and wild chinook and sockeye salmon. A nidovirus was found in farmed, hatchery, and wild chinook. And a reovirus was found only in farmed salmon. One part of major concern is that previously arenavirus is found predominantly in mammals, not fin fish.

Farmed Almaco jack is sold as "Amberjack", or in Hawaii "Kampachi". (As in the citation above, but neither of. your citations show any scientific data.) The same company which has farmed off Hawaii, is applying for these permits off Sarasota.

I believe that there is only one commercial farming source of the almaco jack in the US waters, and that is very limited scale in deep water pens off the coast of Hawaii. (According to the Sea Watch Report of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The score given is 5.79 out of 10--
"Buy, but be aware there are concerns with how they’re caught or farmed."
In Hawaii the waters are monitored, and no major pollution effect is noted. The only red (not sustainable) is the feed. I checked the monitoring web site done by Blue Waters Marinaculture--and the most recent result is 4 years old. The waters in Hawaii are on an area of steep drop off, and I believe far better circulation than in the 100 foot waters 45 miles SW from Sarasota.

The breed fish are produced in local hatcheries, and the fish consumed on the Islands. Where will these breed fish come from? What impact will the hatchery have, and where is it located.

Frankly if I buy "Amberjack" in the fish market, I don't want a farm raised fish. (Amberjack season is Open May 1-31 and Aug. 1-Oct.).

Once you open the door....

Yes, I watched the video of "What you are doing": RAS. There seem to be pluses to the RAS technique, which has been used in the USA (and thru the World) for a number of years.

Last edited by thataway; 12-30-2019 at 10:44 PM.
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